Once and Future Landfills Essay

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Once and Future Landfills There are many myths about the content of landfills that exist because the majority of us are left uninformed. When asked what we thought the greatest attribute to landfill waste is, most of us responded that it must be fast food and disposable diapers. Many are surprised to be informed that these only make up a fraction of a percent of waste dumped into landfills. What might also come as a surprise is that the majority of waste in landfills is actually paper. This is strange considering paper is recyclable. Recycling seems to be an issue because we don’t do enough of it as a whole. So much recyclable material gets wasted and thrown into landfills. If we recycled more, it wouldn’t be nearly as much of an issue that landfills are taking up too much space. They inevitably continue to grow, but we could do more recycling to slow down the growth rate of these landfills. There are other things we can do to cut down the expansion of landfills. One solution is called light weighting. This is when we still make the same item but we use less material. For example, plastic milk jugs have gone from 68 grams to 51 grams. By doing this to as many disposable items as we can, it not only saves room because of the lesser amount of material, but it also makes items more crushable, thus saving even more room as items are able to be further compacted. We often don’t pay attention to what we throw away and where it goes once it leaves our trash cans. Since landfills aren’t necessarily located near many homes and we aren’t surrounded by them, it’s easy to overlook the issue. But if we begin to take it into more consideration, we can make a difference that could affect us all. If we don’t pay attention to the issue at hand and do what we can to help, landfills will continue to grow at large

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